LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — Some parents urgently searching for COVID-19 vaccine for school-aged children under 12 struggled.
At one point, Cincinnati Children's Hospital stopped accepting walk-ins for pediatric vaccine at the hospital's clinics Wednesday. Hospital officials expect similar interested the rest of the week.
Getting shots hardly felt like a dream for Lindsey Hilty's nine- and 11-year-old children. However, it steered them clear of a potential problem. The family's December cruise requires COVID-19 vaccination in order to enjoy on-shore excursions.
Wednesday was the deadline to obtain proof. It was also the first day FDA regulators allowed children between 5 and 11 to be vaccinated. At the same time, clinics at CVS, Walgreens and some health departments were not prepared to give pediatric doses right away.
"It felt like 'Black Friday' where you're ready to camp out to get it," Lindsey HIlty said. "I thankfully didn't have to do anything like that. I was very much counting down and knocking down doors like let me in for this vaccine. I called everywhere. I looked online. My husband even watched as (the FDA was) approving it. Everybody was trying to get into Cincinnati Children's (Hospital vaccine clinics) and make appointments and they just shut down pretty fast. I'd almost given up that I was going to find appointments that day and a friend text me and said Warren County Health Department had vaccines available. They were surprised. When we got there they said they didn't expect that they were going to be giving them out that day."
The hospital gave 430 pediatric doses Wednesday, a spokesperson said. They gave 456 doses to all other age groups combined that day.
While prepared for similar crowds in coming days, hospital researchers are involved in trials of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 3-years-old and Moderna brand vaccine trials on babies as young as six-months-old.
"I just don't want my kids to have to experience going through COVID and potential long-haulers symptoms," Heather Cameron, Hilty's neighbor said.
Cameron has nine- and 11-year-old children too. They have vaccine appointments through their pediatrician next Monday and Tuesday. They feel no rush. Though, her family considers vaccination key to living life the way they did years ago.
It may not be all sunshine and rainbows for Hilty's family. Still, with shots in everyone's arm they are moving toward vacation full steam ahead.
"(My kids) weren't thrilled to get it but they're also very excited to be able to go on vacation."